Coming into the final stretch of this season, it’s fair to say that most followers of the Premier League are expecting a 10 point clear Chelsea to run off with the title. But something that isn’t as certain among football fans is whether Tottenham can finally finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995.
With the North London clubs looking to have seemingly opposite fortunes at the minute, with Spurs winning four of their last five games in all competitions and Arsenal losing three of their last five, some are predicting that there may be no famous ‘St Totteringham’s Day’ this year.
Could This Be The Year That Tottenham Finally Finish Above Arsenal
But there are also skeptics with last season in mind. Along with Leicester winning the Premier League last year, one of the most unanticipated events of the season occurred on the last day on the season when a relegated Newcastle side demolished Spurs 5-1 at St. James’ Park.
Spurs only needed a point to finish above Arsenal but as they lost, Arsenal thrashed, also relegated, Aston Villa 4-0 in Mikel Arteta’s farewell match to ensure St. Totteringham’s Day lasted at least another year. And so came the ‘finished 3rd in a 2 horse race jokes’.
However, if possible, it seems even more likely that Spurs can put an end to that this year. With Tottenham in the form they’re in they’d hope that this international break doesn’t slow their momentum down for the final push of the season. With numerous players hitting top form like Christian Eriksen (3 goals and 7 assists in 6 games) and Dele Alli (4 goals and 2 assists in 4 games), the international break has seemed to come at the worst time.
But looking ahead of the international break Spurs don’t have the most difficult 5 games before the last North London Derby at White Hart Lane. They play Burnley (Away), Swansea (Away), Watford (Home), Bournemouth (Home) and Crystal Palace (Away). Which based on current form most people would back Spurs to win all those games, but whether they will is another question.
Harry Kane Injury
Especially with Harry Kane missing out after picking up that ankle injury against Millwall in the F.A. Cup. Like Eriksen and Alli, Kane was showing great form in front of goal before his injury (8 goals and 1 assist in 5 games) which of course is going to be a big miss.
The Striker currently has 19 Premier League goals this season (2nd most in the league behind Romelu Lukaku) and with Kane now unavailable for a fair few weeks, doubt has crept into the minds of some who thought Spurs could finish above Arsenal. Particularly because of how they struggled for goals when Kane was injured earlier in the season, but Spurs fans will hope the likes of Eriksen and Alli can keep their form going.
At the Emirates
Just a few miles down the road and the international break couldn’t have come at a better time. With Arsenal’s two wins in their last five games both coming against non-league opposition it’s clear that Arsene Wenger needed some time to go back to the drawing board.
Despite all the issues of the pitch, there are still problems on it and Arsenal fans will hope that something will be done during the break to change this. But the Gunner’s run of games going into the North London Derby doesn’t look encouraging with almost every team having something to play for. Manchester City (Home), West Ham (Home), Crystal Palace (Away), Middlesbrough (Away) and Leicester (Home).
The way Arsenal have been performing of late wouldn’t fill any fan with confidence, but as everyone knows, anything can happen in football. With 33 points still on offer for Arsenal it is still possible for Arsenal not just to claim European football but also finish above a Spurs side who are nine points above them at the moment (Arsenal having a game in hand).
Yes it may not seem like much because it has been achieved so consistently, but we could see things change for Arsenal if these two things don’t happen. With Spurs offering Champions League football over us, it would be more understandable for players to choose them over the Gunners. Along with missing out on Europe, this could shift the power between the two clubs.
With an all North London F.A. Cup Final also a possibility at the end of the season, these next couple of months could be the most crucial in the rivalry yet. So sit tight and let’s see how everything unfolds.